Many people bemoan the fact that Christmas has become commercialized.
They see stores crammed with sparkling decorations, highly promoted
merchandise and frenzied shoppers looking for gifts on evergorowing
lists. Some might declare, in paraphrasing and misquoting a poet of
by-gone days, “Christmas is too much with us.”
But that isn’t so. While material trappings of the season can be
overdone. Christmas never can be too much with us.
Christmas is a never-ending season for those who follow the Savior and
emulate His teachings. For Christians, every day is a day to remember
His descent from Heavenly realms to dwell on Earth among mortals. To
His followers, every day is a day to keep His commandments, to do His
works, to serve others as He served, and to love one another, just as
He taught His disciples.
With the Christmas season come reminders of the greatest Gift to all
the world, the birth of the Son of God, our Lord and Savior, Jesus
Christ. At this time of year, many ponder that great Gift and its
meaning. But every Christian ought to ponder it every day.
At this time of year, many draw nearer to family and friends. Would
that they do so throughout the year! In December, we see kind-hearted
people who make room at their tables for those who are alone, and even
for strangers, and visit the home-bound or residents of nursing homes.
Do not people need to be fed, visited and receive neighborly cheer in
other months as well? At Christmas time, many find ways to stretch
money far enough to give to charitable organizations or individuals in
need. But are not the poor always among us?
The Christmas season — even if it is commericalized — serves as a
great reminder of the fact that the Son of God came to Earth to dwell
among mortals, serving as no one else could serve and paving the way
for allto return to their heavenly home. As we turn our focus away
from its secular aspects, we discover the real joy and beauty of
Christmas. Also, we carry the joy of His good news with us throughout
People who remember Christ’s teachings tend to look at others through
the broader and more forgiving lens of love and concern instead of the
narrow microspoe of judgment. As they encounter apparently homeless
people, for example, their thoughts lean more toward wondering if those
souls have warm beds to sleep in and how they might help than to
suppose that the needy bring misfortune upon themselves.
Imagine what the world would be like if Christians everywhere behaved
as if every day is Christmas: a day to remember Jesus and His Divine
ministry and His ultimate gift of the Atonement, and a day to show love
for Him by helping and being kind to others. Every day, all year long.
Days passed and, by the world’s calendar, the Christmas season ends –
decorations are removed, wrappings and ribbons are thrown away or
carefully saved for future use, musical lyrics on radios no longer
refer to refrains of angels singing, a silent night or a little town
called Bethlehem. For too many people, thoughts of Christmas are put
away as surely as ornaments and lights are stored in a closet, attic or
Many people’s thoughts turn to the end of an old year and the beginning
of a new year. Reflecting on the past, some look forward to the
future. On mental tote boards, they tally mistakes, lost
opportunities, bad decisions of the past year, and on the clean slates
of a new year they make resolutions.
A hymn might serve as a guide for a list of resolutions. Individuals
ought to seek to become more holy, strive to do His will, be patient in
suffering, have sorrow for sin, have faith in the Savior, be aware of
His care, be joyful in His service, and have more purpose in prayer.
Further resolutions include becoming more grateful, and trusting in the
Lord, having more pride in His glory and hope in His word, being more
tearful for His sorrows, feeling pain for His grief, being meek in
trials and offering praise when He brings relief.
Still further resolutions to seek are puirty and strength to overcome
temptations, freedom from the sins of the world, a longing for our
heavenly home, fitness for the kingdom, usefulness and, finally, to
become more like the Savior. (“More Holiness Give Me,” HYMNS, No. 131).
With such a list of resolutions, the spirit of Christmas will abice
with followers of Jesus Christ every day of the year.
—–”Church News” week ending December 4, 2004 (The Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints)